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Take Part in England’s Exmoor Dark Skies Festival Dusk Wildlife Safaris and Children’s Art Competition

by Debra Bokur

Sep 22, 2023

© Allexxandar | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / Europe

Planning a trip to the United Kingdom soon? Time your travel for the Exmoor Dark Skies Festival in Somerset, England, from Oct. 13 to 29. The setting is Exmoor National Park, located within a gorgeous mix of farmland, wild forests, stunning valleys and moorlands in South West England.


The Dark Skies Festival is a collection of events that draws families and astronomers to this protected landscape to experience guided Dusk Wildlife Safaris in a Land Rover, astronomy lectures given by experts, Stargazing & Pizza Nights and even Yoga Under the Stars.


The Dark Skies Festival Art Competition for Children is open to kids up to 16 years old. This year’s theme is “Exmoor at Night,” and entrants are invited to paint, draw, sculpt or otherwise artfully express their nighttime Exmoor experience. There are categories for artists aged 11 and younger, and also from 12 to 16 years old. Great prizes include a Starsense Explorer Celestron Telescope. Winning works will go on display at one of the National Park Centres.


Other festival events include a ranger-guided walk up Dunkery Beacon on Oct. 14. The excursion begins at Webber’s Post and leads to the park’s highest point, where astronomers greet hikers and point out constellations. On the evenings of Oct. 15, 18, 25 and 29, Stargazing at the Valley of Rocks with Moor Wild Experiences will take place. Guides direct viewers through seven telescopes, binoculars and the “Stellarium” app to point out Saturn’s rings, the planet Jupiter, distant galaxies and glittering constellations. More than 60 different festival events are planned, so be sure to visit the park website for details.


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